Suspect arrested in hit-and-run that killed UGA student

Credit: Instagram/Family Photo

Credit: Instagram/Family Photo

The suspect in a weekend hit-and-run that killed a 20-year-old University of Georgia student is now behind bars, authorities said Thursday.

Donterris Gresham, 29, of Athens, surrendered Wednesday and was being held in the Clarke County jail on charges related to the death of Ariana Zarse, who was hit by a vehicle early Saturday morning while walking with a friend north of campus.

Authorities had previously released a photo of Gresham and asked for the public’s help to locate him.

Zarse, a resident of Austin, Texas, was a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority and recently competed in a charity boxing event held by the university’s Greek organizations. Zarse won her match and was awarded the first medal of the night.

Zarse’s father announced her death on his daughter’s Instagram page.

“She lived a great life,” he wrote beneath a smiling photo of Zarse. “And she would want all of us to remember her as we saw her after her charity boxing match — a bad ass! Please know that we all loved her — and she will forever be in our hearts.”

According to Athens-Clarke County police, Zarse was struck by a Honda Accord just after midnight Saturday as she crossed Broad Street outside the Sigma Chi fraternity house, blocks from the bars and restaurants in downtown Athens. Her friend was not hit.

The Honda was gone by the time officers arrived, a police spokesman said. Zarse was rushed to a hospital, where she died.

Within days, police had identified Gresham as the Honda’s driver and obtained warrants for his arrest on charges of first-degree vehicular homicide, hit-and-run, failure to obey a traffic device, driving too fast for conditions and driving without a license.

Gresham was denied bond at arrest. A judge is expected to consider his release at a later date.